An article by Khannea Suntzu, copied with her permission from a reply at marketingfacts.nl/berichten/20070828_na_second_life_is_het_pas_echt_interessant
I have been busy in Second Life since end 2005, after having waited for something like this to emerge. I can safely say I have been visualizing things like these since as far back as 1979. I have 25+ years very close on gaming, simulation and what happens in human minds in imaginary environments.
Right now Second Life is very, very clumsy. This is akin to the backyard industry that create airplanes a century ago, in 1908. Very few people had a clue where that particular enterprise was headed. Few people in 1908 dared speculate on metal-clad freight planes yet within a generation world wars were lost based on precisely that.
If anyone has a shiver of doubt, I say Second Life is the semi-competent first serious attempt to create an industry with possible more far reaching implications than airplanes in 1908. Second Life will be taught in history schools in half a century as being a crucial turning point. This newly emerging medium will (all but) destroy television, cinema, stores and various other things we take for granted. It will give rise to a new industry bigger than television and cinema combined. In ten years a billion people will at least weekly log on to some sort of VR akin to Second Life.
Cornerstones of this new industry are already quite near – real life facial expression capture, high resolution models, real-physics, engines such as Crysis, full body motion capture & streaming, stereoscopic HUD displays, contact lens monitors, augmented reality and many others. A huge number of new open source VR media (Qwaq, Open Croquet). Entropia will switch to the CryEngine in a few years. If you need your imagination tickled read “rainbows end” (vrinimi.org/rainbowsend.html) and be humbled. That is set in 2025 and probably the most realistic near future SF around.
For business the future is changing fast. Strike that, for everyone the future is so changing fast as to become haze beyond a few decades. We don’t need speculative technology like warp gate technology to realize the future in 3 decades becomes more alien than any alien dreamed up by hollywood. If I were a big company I’d find some likeminded other big companies and create a think tank / research institute real fast – and LISTEN. One look at the recent publications on the flabberghasting ignorance the old record company moguls exhibited and you know how in a decade the crowd will laugh your pleistocene business models all the way into bankrupcy. You won’t even be poor when failing, your stupidity as a fossil will put on display in the Youtubes of that day and age.
I say create specialists fast. People you then go and actually listen to if they come with bad news or painful and urgent suggestions. Right now a market can *suddenly and spectacularly* change in as short as (gasp!) 2 years. By 2015 that will be less than a year. By 2020 it will be in mere weeks a whole industry can be forced to change completely or go tar pit.
Let me give you some food for thought. SL experienced a brief peak because of a hype. It experienced a shallow bubble in the last year. Right now the wolves are pouncing on this phenomenon they perceive as a threat. The TV media ridicule SL and its inhabitats with am eager frenzy that is to me almost suspicious. It is almost as if the traditional media (which are geriatric at half a century…) feel threatened by this pretentious little upstart. Just watch what they do and say and ask yourself “motive” ?
Second Life is almost certainly a dud. Linden Labs is woefully incompetent and what they are trying to do in 2008 technology is very, very hard. But lessons are being learned that will be worth billions in a few years. As such SL will muddle on, slowly expand and in a few years be suddenly displaced by a far leaner and sexier predator. And after that these new media will become more mainstream and easier and self-intuitive (which it is NOT) than internet itself.
KhanneaSunztu.wordpress.com (blog since 2008-01-24)